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For the second edition of this critically acclaimed work on the American art song, Friedberg and Fisher have combined all three volumes of Friedberg's earlier work (v. 1, CH, Mar'82; v. 2, CH, Mar'85; v. 3, CH, Sep'87) into one large book, supplemented by the addition of ten composers born after the midcentury mark. The make-up of each chapter remains the same: short biographical sketches of composer and poet, followed by a discussion of one or more poems and their musical settings. Although the limited number of works by each composer is hardly sufficient to gain insight into his or her style or aesthetic, the important addition of some of the most popular song composers currently working today--among them Libby Larsen, Jake Heggie, and Ricky Ian Gordon--makes the acquisition of the new edition worthwhile. The revised format--the pages and font are bigger--also improves the readability of the work. This book can easily lay claim to being the most important work on the subject available today. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals. (CHOICE)
Performers, vocal and instrumental, will find this volume useful. (American Reference Books Annual)
American Art Song and American Poetry is an outstanding resource. The research is exemplary, the information is shared in a clear and eloquent style, and it is convenient to have all the information contained in a single compendium. Singers who have only a nodding acquaintance with this literature will be piqued to explore it, while those familiar with this repertoire will be tempted to revisit these milestones of American song, and perhaps discover composers and settings new to them. (Journal of Singing)
The book could serve as an ideal textbook for university song literature courses focused on the American art song. It would also function well as a resource guide for singers and pianists who are studying or performing works from the genre. Those with an appreciation for the art song, American music or American poetry, and who might wish to survey the literature, would also benefit greatly from the book. . . .The authors’ knowledge of the subject matter is unequivocally excellent, and the book is expertly put together. (American Music Teacher)
Ruth C. Friedberg has taught at Duke University, the New School of Music in Philadelphia, and numerous Texas universities. She has performed as keyboard artist with the San Antonio Symphony and for chamber music and vocal recitals in many countries. Friedberg's publications include the recorded anthology Art Song in America, as well as entries in the Grove's Dictionaries of Music, The Complete Pianist, the American Women Composers song series, and Selected Writings of John Duke. Robin Fisher is associate professor of voice at Sacramento State University. She began her singing career in Europe where she studied music as a Fulbright scholar and recipient of the Rotary Foundation fellowship. Fisher is co-editor of The Selected Writings of John Duke: 1917-1984 (Scarecrow, 2007).